ROBBINSVILLE, NJ – For the 2019-20 school year, the 27th Annual Scholar-Athlete Awards initiative of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) has provided a certificate of recognition to 354 high school student-athletes, including Scotch Plains-Fanwood's Catherine Buren.

Buren, a graduating senior who is set to attend the University of North Carolina next fall, is a member of both the girls lacrosse team and the cross-country team. 

"Catherine does it all, not only excelling in the classroom, but also in her athletic endeavors as well as her volunteer work and in every aspect of her life," said SPFHS girls lacrosse coach Virginia Weber. "Catherine is a standout student athlete and I can’t wait to see what she does as she moves on to the next adventure in her life."

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"Catherine Buren is a senior at SPFHS. She's a three-sport athlete (cross-country, indoor track, and girls lacrosse) and is taking five AP classes, including AP Calculus with me," Coach Jeff Koegel tweeted earlier this spring. "She is a volunteer EMT with the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad. More people need to see this."

Related: SPF's Catherine Buren Making Her School Proud

Under this ongoing program, each NJSIAA member school – nearly every high school in the state – has the opportunity to select one graduating senior as its scholar-athlete of the year.

“Given the very challenging year we’ve all faced, it’s particularly important to recognize the academic achievements of New Jersey’s student-athletes,” says NJSIAA Chief Operating Officer Colleen Maguire. “I’m certain each certificate recipient worked hard not only in the classroom and in competition, but also in overcoming the hurdles presented by the closing of all school buildings. Despite the difficulties, they all continued to pursue their goals and dreams.”

"I will surely miss seeing her in the hallways and on the lacrosse field, but she is beyond deserving to be named the NJSIAA scholar athlete to represent Scotch Plains Fanwood High School," Coach Weber added.

Since 1993, NJSIAA has honored more than 7,700 New Jersey high school students through its annual scholastic-athletes program. To view all of this year's winners, click here.                                        

Established in 1918, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletics Association (NJSIAA) is a voluntary, non-profit organization comprised of 436 accredited public, private, and parochial high schools. A member of the National Federation of State High School Associations, the NJSIAA conducts tournaments and crowns champions in 32 sports. Championship competition for girls is sponsored in basketball, bowling, cross country, fencing, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, outdoor track, winter track, and volleyball. Boys’ championships are determined in baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, fencing, football, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, outdoor track, winter track, volleyball, and wrestling.